I went out for a walk the other day and saw my 88 year old neighbor, Erika, taking out some garbage.
As I have a tendency to do, I watched how she was using her body – and she was hip hinging! In other words, she was keeping her back straight and bending or hinging at her hips allowing her to use her glutes and hamstrings, not her back muscles. I went over to praise her on how well she bent over to take out the garbage.
On a related note, I recently came across this important article from NPR that discusses how other cultures hip hinge, or bend over.
It talks about how, compared to Americans, other cultures have less incidents of back pain when they bend over to do work. This is because they bend over properly, while many Americans do not.
I was elated that the media was spreading great and accurate information, so I posted the article on Facebook and received the most views and shares ever!
Learning how to bend over properly is extremely important to avoid pain. If you are a current or past patient of mine, you may remember me teaching you this technique either in the clinic or by watching this video.
Interestingly when I teach women, not the men, how to hip hinge in order to sit down, I sometimes get resistance. They comment that they think it looks funny or it is not ladylike. I would encourage you to practice sitting down using good hip hinging in front of a mirror to determine for yourself how you look. Also, watch others how they sit down, do you think they look funny?
When reading the NPR article, about halfway down are instructions how to hip hinge with a little video. You can also click on the audio link at the top of the article to listen to the report. Click here to read the NPR article.